Inflatable air loungers pose drowning risk if used in water
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Consumer Protection is warning owners of inflatable air loungers not to use them in water as they could pose a drowning risk.
Inflatable air loungers are fabric tubes that are inflated to form a lounge or bed. They can be used as an alternative to other furniture and may have an internal plastic liner in addition to an external covering. They may also be marketed as air sofas or inflatable furniture under a range of brand names, including being sold on-line and from overseas suppliers.
The warning follows two reported incidents in Victoria and New South Wales where the lining has split and users became entangled in the material and almost drowned.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said consumer agencies throughout Australia have now launched an investigation into the dangers of the product.
“These products, which have been on the market since 2014 and have now become popular items to buy, are mostly used as sun lounges at the beach and at picnics,” Mr Hillyard said.
“However, some people are also using them in the pool, rivers and even the ocean and there are serious safety concerns when used in that way.
“While some retailers selling this product may suggest they can be used as flotation devices on water, we believe there may be a risk of unexpected deflation and recommend that they are only used on dry land.
“The items retail for as little as $26 online and are sometimes spruiked at live demonstrations at shopping centres. Generally the air loungers need to be re-inflated every two to six hours depending on quality.
“While there have been no incidents reported in WA and we have received no complaints about the safety of these products, the recent near drowning incidents in the eastern states have raised our concern.
“Product safety regulators throughout Australia are making enquiries with relevant suppliers, international product safety regulators and others to help inform and implement an appropriate response to any product safety concerns.
“Until further investigations are carried out and as a precautionary measure, we urge owners of these inflatable air loungers not to use them in water. Adults are advised to take steps to remove inflatable air loungers from locations in or around water including pools and to ensure they are not used by children as flotation devices.”
WA consumers who may have been involved in an incident regarding this product should contact Consumer Protection by email email@example.com or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
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